Advancements in technology are going to enhance how we discover and consume content. If you’re a small- business owner or marketer you’ve probably heard the saying, “content is king.” You know it’s important to create highly valuable content that provides tremendous value to your customers. And if you hadn’t, now you have.
It’s not just about creating that content either. Once you create it, you then need to make sure that content is published, marketed and distributed in order to get it in front of the right audience. You need to make sure the content can be discovered and ranks highly in search engines for the questions or search phrases your customers are using.
Unsure how to do that? I have some good news. Until recently, search engines have been bad at understanding the content of video or audio clips. In the past, if you created a great video or podcast, our recommendation would’ve been to transcribe (or summarize) the content and publish it on your website so it could be discovered by search engines.
To be clear, I’m not saying you shouldn’t continue doing that, just that you may not have to in the near future.
Artificial intelligence is opening new doors
Two growing areas of artificial intelligence are changing this reality: computer vision and natural language processing. There have been significant advancements in both of these areas – search engines now have the ability to describe what’s in an image about as well as a human can (and in some cases better).
If they can do it for an image, that means they can do it for a video since a video is just a series of images. In addition, through natural language processing, they can also understand audio and convert it to text. This means the computer can understand the meaning of what it’s seeing and hearing.
By better understanding the content of an image, video and audio clip, search engines will be able to better understand and categorize these types of rich media. This also allows them to more effectively serve up the right type of content when you do a search regardless of the format. And of course, this will allow them to show more relevant ads based on the content in the rich media.
Google recently celebrated its 20th year. In a blog title, “Improving Search for the Next 20 Years,” they said something very compelling, “…and the shift from text to a more visual way of finding information: We’re bringing more visual content to Search and completely redesigning Google Images to help you find information more easily.”
What does this mean for you?
It means that the amazing video you create and the podcast you publish could receive more eyeballs (and ears). Google has already started automatically transcribing videos and podcasts so it can understand what’s in them. It’s doing this with pretty high accuracy.
If you’ve seen Google’s new-ish “Google Discover,” it automatically suggests content to you in a more visually appealing way than normal search results. In my opinion, we’ll continue to see search engines displaying more visually friendly results.
This means you have a big opportunity to stand out from the crowd with compelling content that converts. We know humans are visual creatures.
The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text
The ability for computers to find, understand and serve up rich media like video and audio has grown significantly in the past year. This is nothing compared to what will happen in the next five years. We haven’t even tapped into augmented and virtual reality yet, but you can be sure that’s coming too. Google has recently started showing augmented reality results for a number of results. It’s not too far off that you’ll be shopping in augmented reality.
The opportunity exists for forward-thinking businesses to establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry by creating visually engaging and compelling content now.
Kevin Getch is the founder, CEO and director of digital strategy of Vancouver-based Webfor. He can be contacted via www.webfor.com.